Nominating Committees everywhere are starting to work hard to fill church positions. I have worked on both the local and state level in trying to uncover and discover and recover people to serve on various boards, agencies, team, committees, and teaching slots. I have seen the good and bad side of filling positions. Often, we cherry pick the best people for certain positions and scramble to just fill the page.
Somewhere in the deep recesses, we know there should be more involved but who has the time? In most cases in church, there are 2 positions for every committee plus trustees, clerks, moderators, and more. Whatever your policies are, here are a few reminders as you go about the work of ministry.
Is Joe a believer? You might think this is a no-brainer, but it isn’t. I have seen good and God-fearing people bring to the table names of those who have yet to decide for Christ but have the vocational skill in the area of need. Until a person has placed faith in Jesus and received the forgiveness of sin, they are not prepared to make spiritual decisions in the church. I realize that which paper towel holders are needed in the bathroom, or what color the toilets need to be, seem to be irrelevant to this moment. I tell you it is relevant! There will come a time that, even though they can add and read a P&L sheet, spiritual direction will be necessary. In those moments, we need faith not just facts!
No matter where your church stands on membership or fellowship or covenants, the person being suggested needs to be settled in their attendance in your church. Your church needs to decide what the requirements are going to be. For example, how can someone really advise and guide personnel who attends 25% of the time? How can someone really give input to practices and policies if they are not around often enough to speak well on these matters? How can they lead a group when they are in other churches because of family, invites, events, and such?
This has to do with their mouth and their money. You want people in leadership to be vocally supportive of the staff and the church mission and vision. Naysayers create problems. Gossips create integrity issues. Those who refuse to follow Matthew 18 will create hazards and splits. Those in leadership have a higher accountability and must be held to it.
Only the treasurer/bookkeeper will know how much someone gives. In our situation, we have set a low limit of $200/month in giving. If someone is giving more than that they are considered available to serve. If someone is not meeting that need, but I am aware of low-income status in their home, I will seek to discover if their giving is regular.
We all need to row in the same direction otherwise we go in circles.
Background checks are difficult for our older generations to grasp. Having grown up in radically different social times it is often a church hurdle. However, we MUST be doing these. The obvious areas are in youth and
Background checks are difficult for our older generations to grasp. Having grown up in radically different social times it is often a church hurdle. However, we MUST be doing these. The obvious areas are in youth and childhood ministries. However, I would encourage committee members too. Another option would be that committee members sign an agreement of confidentiality. While much of what is done in committee life is open for membership to hear, there are those times when sensitive items need to be discussed. Our church family is not always prepared to hear all that is discussed.
For example, My wife and I discuss a LOT at the dinner table with our kids. However, when we moved to Texas 3 years ago they were not at an age to handle that information until they HAD to handle it. They didn’t know about the interviews and discussions of housing and schools. Our church members are at all levels of maturity. We must have the mature lead and, at times, do so confidentially.
God has equipped your church with people. Within them lies the spirit of God. Do you see the fruit of the Spirit revealed in their actions and speech? Do you sense they are being led by the Spirit or by other causes? Sometimes, everything can seem right and the pressure is on to finish the task. However, we must pause and ensure the Spirit’s guidance and gifting. Someone who is gifted with mercy or helps will have a difficult time serving in an administrative role. Also, if the finance/stewardship committee is filled with those who are strong in faith run the risk of presenting a budget too large for the congregation. There needs to be a balance.
I pray for our nominating committees as they seek to serve the Lord and His church. May you be wise, righteous, and godly in your choices this Fall.